I hit ⌘-A in the photo view, and clicked on “Export” (which is horrible in iPhoto — more on that later). I was greeted with an “Unable to create…” dialog, which basically means that iPhoto can’t find the original files; only the thumbnails.
This is a frightening, compelling read. I’ve been in a similar situation, and it’s heartbreaking. For Boateng, it’s his precious family photos. For me, it’s my music collection. Whatever your most precious data may consist of, it’s important to have a smart backup strategy.